Restaurant Charges You If You Don't Eat All Your Food: Smart or Totally Unfair?

Say What!? 21

clean plateHere in the states, about 40 percent of our food supply chain goes uneaten. Forty percent. The average family of four throws away about 20 pounds of food per person every month. That's a lot of grub going down the drain, and in Japan, well, they ain't having it. One seafood restaurant in Sapporo charges patrons a surcharge if they don't finish every last drop of food on their plate, down to the final grain of rice.

On the menu, it states that customers who order the signature dish -- a bowl of rice with salmon roe -- are subject to pay extra if they don't finish it. And their rationale for such a rule is spot on.

Evidently, the working conditions for the fish farmers are dangerous and can even be deadly -- not eating the food they worked so hard to put on your plate is not only a waste, but an insult to their profession.

And believe it or not, people admire this clean your plate club rule. In fact, restaurant goers like it so much that business has boomed in this one seafood joint, allowing the owner to open another one.

This isn't the first time we've heard of an eatery imposing eat-or-pay obligations. A restaurant in Saudi Arabia started charging patrons extra for ordering too much and eating too little.

Then there are Grandma's houses across the nation where a morsel of broccoli or, god forbid, a piece of London broil left on the plate could render its full eater a death stare and a threat of no dessert.

The clean plate club restaurant rule is something I can get behind. Not only would it save food waste (remember! 40 percent is thrown out!) but it would make ordering your meal a more conscious and deliberate effort, which, I think, would make the experience all the more enjoyable.

How do you feel about a surcharge for not finishing your plate?

 

Photo via UggBoy/Flickr

eating out, eco-friendly, food

21 Comments

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nonmember avatar NoWay

Well, then restaurants need to offer a variety of sizes for dishes. It's not my fault that the plate of spaghetti I ordered is made to feed a family of four and I refuse to eat until I feel sick! I like restaurants that offer half portions because sometimes I can actually eat it all.

nonmember avatar NoWay

Well, then restaurants need to offer a variety of sizes for dishes. It's not my fault that the plate of spaghetti I ordered is made to feed a family of four and I refuse to eat until I feel sick! I like restaurants that offer half portions because sometimes I can actually eat it all.

Boobo... Boobookittt74

I wouldn't eat there. Unless its free and I pay to leave it then maybe.

doodledo doodledo

Great idea.

nonmember avatar Sarah

This MIGHT make sense if you served yourself the amount of food you wanted, but it's absurd if your portions are predetermined. Why not just make it mandatory to take home leftovers?

cleo_... cleo_is_mine

This already happens here. I've been to japanese restaurants where they have "all you can it" flat rate pricing. You can order as much as you want as many times you want but if you order more than you can eat (which is being wasteful) they charge you. I agree to this charge on this instance but believe it'd never work in the US for other restaurants (they'd get boycotted!). If there's any concern with waste than they could serve smaller portions. Also here don't people often ask to wrap it and take it home (if there's considerable amount left!)??

PRIMA487 PRIMA487

This makes no sense to me. First I'm always hearing about portion control,that restaurant portions are too big (works for me,get your moneys worth)and that Americans are too fat because they eat large portions at restaurants. What the hell is wrong with a doggy bag? Highway robbery. Next they'll charge you for leaving because you don't want eat there, after reading their disclaimers.

nonmember avatar Beth

Like Cleo, I have been to an All-You-Can-Eat sushi restaurant that has a disclaimer about extra charges for left-over food, which makes sense so people don't order everything and end up being wasteful. But I don't support restaurants that have normal, pay-per-dish menus doing the same thing. If you pay for a meal, then it is your right to do anything you please with that food, even of it means taking one bite and then throwing it the garbage. Restaurants forcing patrons to finish every bite, is like parents who force their children to eat every bite, which I believe leads to an unhealthy relationship with food and obesity.

the4m... the4mutts

Uh, no. Just, no.

This isnt smart, or savvy in any way.

As for he 20lbs per person bullarkie, I dont buy it for a second. At least not in the home. We waste very, very close to NOTHING in our house. We start with small portions, and go bck for 2nds if we're still hungry.

I save all leftovers to send in kids' lunches, or for my s/os lunch for work. If it STILL isnt eaten, thats when the dogs get it. And even though theyre dogs, not people, I dont view it as wasteful as long as it's eaten.

I would not eat at a place that did this. On the rare occasions we go out to eat, I almost never finish my food, but I always bring it home for the next day.

davis... davismom03

Didn't they just make it illegal to be obese in japan as well? Can you say oxymoron.

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